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ADP - Live From Disney World

#41 User is offline   ADP 

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 10:26 PM

Overlooking World Showcase lagoon on a great day

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Luigi delights the crowd in Italy.

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#42 User is offline   ADP 

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 10:26 PM

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#43 User is offline   ADP 

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 10:27 PM

A great day at the Boardwalk

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#44 User is offline   ADP 

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 10:28 PM

Kool and the Gang at the American Gardens Theater.

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#45 User is offline   ADP 

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 10:50 AM

Hi Everyone,

I'm back home a bit early after a week in the parks. Anna got a hairline fracture in her hand after a tumbling pass that went wrong during cheer practice.

Anyway, here are some final thoughts about the trip.

Hi Everyone,

I'm back home from Orlando. As usual had a great time. It was nice seeing so many of you. It seemed like a lot of friends were at Disney World for the opening of Food & Wine and the races.

Just some general observations.

Food & Wine -
Although I feel the festival keeps losing various special areas the booths and the food choices are wonderful. Prices seem to be holding steady from last year. Typically there is a lower priced food option and a more expensive option. I found trying a lot of the lower priced options was a pretty good value. Portion sizes were somewhat bigger than I expected. My favorite food choice was from the Spain booth was the 'Taste of Spain'. also, over in the South Korea booth were the lettuce wraps. I really enjoyed those options. As you would expect the weekend saw huge crowds. Both locals and tourists showed up. On Monday, there was a considerable drop in crowds. So, if you can swing it go during the week. The lines will be much, much shorter. If you do have to go on the weekend go early when World Showcase opens at 11:00AM.

Halloween Parties -
I attended both Halloween Horror Nights and Mickey's Not So Scary. Both parties were very well done. Not much has changed for MNSSHP. Fireworks and parade were very similar from years past. I really hope they make some changes next year or in the near future. To me part of paying for a hard-ticketed event would be to see some changes over the years. I know making changes costs money, but the hard-ticketed cost should help offset those costs.

Halloween Horror Nights was also very well done. I didn't get a chance to visit some of the scare zones within the parks and we only made it to 5 of the 8 haunted houses, but the ones I did see were excellent. I must admit though Universal has increased the number of costumed scarers inside the houses. It seemed like most times I went through a curtain into the next room I was freaked out by someone coming at me from inside a wall or around a corner. Most wait times for the haunted houses were 15 to 30 minutes. If you plan to attend HHN go during the week or on a Sunday night. I would suspect there's a HUGE difference in wait times from weekdays to weekends. You will enjoy the event way more going during the week. I find the costumes and effects at HHN to be some of the best I've ever seen.

Races and Post Race Party -
Let me first say I'm not much of a runner. I only ran the Halloween 5k. I really enjoyed the race; especially the race course. Running through the Magic Kingdom was quite a thrill. There were a lot of characters and Halloween decor as we ran through the park. At times I wanted to stop, but found myself continuing because I was curious how quickly I could make it to the finish line. The only disappointment was at the end of the race when I crossed the finish line. Everyone was handed a plastic medal. :) That doesn't quite make sense, but it was plastic. I know this was only a 5k and we shouldn't be heavily praised for only 3.1 miles, but for some people this is a big accomplishment. A medal of some sort would have been appreciated. I would have paid a little more for an actual medal. Otherwise this race was a big success. I hope to do the 5k or maybe the half relay next year.

The post race party later that evening at EPCOT was okay. This party was a hard-ticketed event for guests to cheer half marathon racers to the finish line. The finish line was located just outside of the Internation Gateway. All of the Food & Wine booths were open plus there was entertainment scattered throughout World Showcase. I must admit I did leave before the party was over, but I hear it got very crowded. I did enjoy watching the racers cross the finish line. Mickey and Minnie were greeting racers as they finished. Also, each guest who attended the party received 1 food and drink voucher which you could use throughout World Showcase. I believe the cost for the ticket was $35. Not a terrific value, but a fun event nonetheless.

Food -
I found the food at the Food & Wine Festival to be tasty. If you ordered properly you could food at a decent value. I did dine at the Crystal Palace, La Hacienda table service (twice) :) and Yachtsman Steakhouse. All three were very good. I had a New York strip steak at Yachtsman that I enjoyed very much. Also, the lobster bisque was pretty terrific. Breakfast at the Crystal Palace was good too. We had breakfast and even a little bit of lunch as we stuck around for the transition. I had a unique experience at La Hacienda. We had a table next to one of the large windows around 9:00PM. We saw Illuminations from inside the restaurant. It was as close as I'd ever been to the globe and barge. The restaurant lowers the lights and pipes in the music. The restaurant is not currently taking ADRs so consider walking up and asking for a table by the window. You might get as lucky as we did. When the restaurant starts taking ADRs it will get popular around 9:00PM.

Additionally, I dined at Texas De Brazil on Thursday night. Wow! What a food frenzy. I must say, if you've never tried this place you should. The cost is around $50, but you can find coupons to make the price more affordable. It really is a great value. Between the amazing salad bar and all the meet it's terrific. Just try not to eat very much prior to your meal. In fact, I went most of Thursday without food preparing for our feast later in the day. I'm glad I did.

Meets -
I attended a few meets over the weekend. It was nice to see so many people. It seemed like I was missing many friends during the week and weekend, especially around EPCOT so getting everyone together at the same place was a good thing. It was nice seeing so many faces again. It was a good primer for upcoming meets in December. See you all again soon.

Well, that was about it. I didn't spend much time at the resorts; Wilderness Lodge Villas and Saratoga Springs. Both appear to be in tip top shape; especially Saratoga Springs. That resort has really matured beautifully. The landscape is amazing.

So, after 8 laps around World Showcase and Food & Wine, a 5k, 4 meets, 2 Halloween Parties, 2 concerts, and a post race party, and hooking up with several friends I've about had it.....For now. But, we'll be back in a big way in December for many planned meets and activities.
Thanks for following along. :)

ADP over and out! :)
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#46 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 11:02 AM

Great report as always Aaron! Sounds like you had a great trip
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#47 User is offline   ADP 

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 09:14 AM

View PostQuickGold, on Oct 6 2010, 12:02 PM, said:

Great report as always Aaron! Sounds like you had a great trip

Thanks Matt...As always, good seeing you.
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#48 User is offline   jbwolffiv 

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 07:50 PM

Sounds like a realy good trip, glad the race was a good time for you!
John
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#49 User is offline   ADP 

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 09:05 AM

View Postjbwolffiv, on Oct 8 2010, 08:50 PM, said:

Sounds like a realy good trip, glad the race was a good time for you!

It really was John. Hopefully, I can conquor a half marathon someday. I'm just not much of a runner, but with more work in the gym and some persistance I think I can get there.
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